Monday, May 18, 2020

#MommyMondays: Sunshine and Sunscreen

By Jo Anne
Jo Anne
Summer is quickly approaching and some of us mommies (and daddies) are wondering if we’ll be swimming in public pools at this point. But one thing we shouldn’t be concerned about is if our little one’s skin is protected in this summer heat, especially for those who live anywhere in Texas. Well I’d like to introduce my favorite summer skincare products, Tubby Todd’s PLAY Mineral Sunscreen and Sunstick!
I was hesitant about applying additional chemicals to BJ’s skin due to the amount of steroids I’ve had to use on his neck rash. The PLAY sunscreen, however, uses mineral ingredients instead of chemical active ingredients that are used in most of the other children’s sunscreens. Because of this, I didn’t think twice about purchasing the sunscreen before our trip to Miami in March (before strict social distancing went into effect in Texas).
Dermatologists recommend an SPF of at least 30 and the Tubby Todd’s sunscreen and sunstick have an SPF of 50 and 30, respectively. The directions say to apply every hour and twenty minutes if sweating or wet and at least every two hours. Of course, like with any other sunscreen, we apply it at least 15 minutes before sun exposure and make sure to reapply every hour or so. For me, I’d rather be safe than sorry. If BJ is anything like his Papi, he will look like a cherry within minutes!
I also love their Sunstick because of how convenient it is for facial application. I may not always need to apply the sunscreen lotion if BJ is wearing a long sleeve shirt and/or pants. This is a light item we are keeping in BJ’s diaper bag for the remainder of the summer, which lasts until about October in Houston. I would recommend this item for those who have toddlers. If you have a stubborn little one who refuses to allow you to put any sort of product on their skin, you can hand over this stick and give them a fun task to draw it on themselves and rub it in!
Before heading to the pool, Jo Anne makes sure BJ has an adamant amount of sunscreen to protect his skin.
BJ checking out his new Tubby Todd's PLAY Mineral Sunscreen  and Sunstick! 

You can purchase these products separately or save a couple bucks if you buy both or two Sunsticks! If you would like more information on these products, check out this link:
Also, for my dear #MommyMondays readers, if you are interested in purchasing Tubby Todd products and would like a 10% discount, DM me on Instagram @joannecastillo! 😉

Monday, May 11, 2020

#MommyMondays: Reflecting on my First Mother's Day

By Jo Anne
Jo Anne
As Mother’s Day passed, all I could think about was how quickly these past eight months have gone by. As hard as motherhood may feel, I would say it pretty much comes naturally, but also passes within the blink of an eye. And for all you mothers who think they’re not doing enough or always have a basket of laundry unfolded (which has always been the case for me since I started doing laundry), you are doing amazing.

For most of my fellow first-time mommies, we made it to our first Mother’s Day and I think that counts as a lot.

Monday, April 27, 2020

#MommyMondays: Things I Wish I Knew To Register For (Or Shouldn't Have Registered For) + Other #MommyLife Hacks

A Personal Product Review For My Fellow First-Time Mommies

by Jo Anne

Jo Anne
Before I begin my first review, I must give a major shoutout to my hubby for being the best! His job isn’t just finished when he gets off work. He comes home and does his part as a husband and father. It’s very important to have a support system! Remember: it takes TWO to tango.

Introducing M Report Contributor: Jo Anne Castillo

The M Report would like to introduce a new voice to the conversation - Jo Anne Castillo! We're so excited to share insight from the new mom. She'll host #MommyMondays with brand new content.

Let's get to know Mama Jo! 

Jo Anne

M: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do?
I am from Stafford, Texas, born and raised. My normal nine to five is being a Tax Analyst for a Fortune 500 company. But my real job is being a wifey and mommy!

M: Tell us about your journey into motherhood aka tell us about your baby!
I am the mother of a sweet seven-month old baby boy, BJ, who loves to keep Papi (nickname for my husband Bryan) and I on our toes! BJ's favorite show is "Puppy Dog Pals" and anything Mickey on Disney Jr. If BJ's not eating or sleeping, he’s probably chewing on a TV remote or trying to climb whatever’s in sight. My journey into motherhood has been exciting, yet frightening, however, we couldn’t imagine life without Baby BJ.

M: What’s the best thing about being a mother?
Knowing that there’s a tiny human being whose life depends on me and thinks I hung the moon and stars in the sky.

M: What’s the most challenging?
Also knowing that there’s a tiny human being whose life depends on you ... but I guess you could say not knowing what to expect. Once you think you have one thing down, it changes the next day.

M: How has the pandemic impacted your new chapter into motherhood?
Though this pandemic has been an unfortunate event for the world, it has also been a blessing in disguise to be at home with BJ and watch him grow. My husband and I are fortunate enough to work from home and we have learned to appreciate what matters most - faith and family.

M: What’s your advice to young women out there who are unsure about becoming a mom?
There is no such thing as being “ready” to be a parent. Nothing in life will or can prepare you to be a mother, no book or course. But the lessons learned along the way are the most rewarding.

Click "Read More" for the adorable photo of Jo Anne's family.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Sunday Soul Session: Faith Grows in Quarantine

By Allyson Escobar

In mid-March, I slipped into my local church for daily Mass on a rainy Friday morning, taking a back seat. The church wasn't filled, but Mass-goers were sprinkled throughout the pews; everyone sitting a few feet apart. We received the Holy Eucharist, celebrated the sacament, together in unison. 

A week later, all Masses in every diocese nationwide were cancelled. Daily and Sunday Masses quickly shifted to digital, Facebook and Instagram Live format. Parish events, weddings, Lenten fish-frys; everything was being rescheduled or altogether cancelled left and right. 

I had no idea that Friday Mass would be the last one I’d attend. The last time I’d get to consume the Holy Eucharist, at least for a little while. 
As a Catholic young adult living in the U.S., watching all of this happen slowly, then all at once, feels surreal. 

At first, the novel coronavius seemed distant, far away — something terrible happening somewhere else. Now the pandemic is not only local, but is spreading at a rapid, terrifying pace. As the world’s health heroes and researchers continue their selfless service day after day, those of us in self-quarantine, privileged to be at home, have been doing our small but mighty part. (And yes, it makes a difference.)

But in all the chaos, there has been connection. There are always reasons to smile, laugh, find hope and inspiration in this world. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Sunday Soul Session: Paving Forward Properly

(Photo: Missy Enaje)
There seems to be this huge disconnect as we rush forward with individualism and personal achievements. Like the awards, diplomas and certificates on the wall are what we've been missing this whole time. That's not to say personal achievements shouldn't be celebrated, in which case, they absolutely should because symbolic to that paper are hours of blood sweat and tears drenched in determination. 
But what about character? No longer as adults do we come home with 'kindness, gentleness and humility' awards - and neither should we (mothers are exemptions, they're superhuman). Because a means to an end signifies duty instead of free-will. If I do something nice, in return, I'll get something back. Instead, if I freely choose to love, it signifies something deeper.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Sunday Soul Session: Desires

I have been hearing and reading the words that follow along the lines of  “God honors our desires.”  Divine intervention would have it, but even my mom has been recycling that phrase recently. Yet one thing that keeps popping up in my heart the more I read it or contemplate those words - is that goodness, gracious it’s true.

When we think about those words “God honors our desires” - it sounds so lofty, doesn’t it? It sounds like there’s this high and mighty person in a cloud just zapping desires into fruition like a genie in the sky. But goodness gracious, is that anywhere further from the truth.

My experience with those words is quiet and humbling. That’s because, just like the Scripture that talks about how God speaks not through some tumultuous roar or some flashy headline, it’s that, in my experience, God speaks through the quiet of our heart.